President Joe Biden’s Labor Law Game Changers

Ag Clients BEWARE…That while National Labor Policy really impacts only secondary commercial operations (e.g. pack houses, processing, cooling, and distribution), the broad-sweeping game changers below are extremely impactful not only to those operations but also affect California Ag labor policy by setting the example on the issues, such as the “Access Rule” and “Card Check.”

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division issued a final rule that will modernize the H-2A application process into the digital era.

Among many other changes, the Final Rule:

California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) has released a new employer tool kit for Family and Medical Leave. This new employer tool kit is based on the significant expansion of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) that went into effect on January 1, 2021. In addition to providing up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to care for the serious health condition of a family member or themselves, the expanded CFRA now requires employers to provide employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition with unpaid, job-protected leave and/or accommodations. The employer tool kit with updated resources and information can be found here.

The EEOC published long-awaited guidance relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and its application to the COVID-19 Vaccine. The guidance is available here. Below are the highlights and key takeaways. Remember the State may also weigh in on this down the road, so as with everything COVID-19 related, stay tuned for updates!

Can I require my employees to take a COVID-19 Vaccine?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) expired December 31, 2020. As a reminder, the FFCRA applied to employers with 500 or fewer employees. To fill the gap left by the FFCRA, California enacted its own California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, enacted as Labor Code section 248.1. The California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave also set to expire December 31, 2020, and was to automatically extend if the FFCRA was extended. Although the laws are slightly different, both were enacted to provide workers emergency paid sick leave because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions on All Things Social Security

This collaborative briefing was written by Michael C. Saqui of The Saqui Law Group, Chris Schulte of CJ Lake, LLC, and Rob Roy, President and General Counsel of Ventura County Agricultural Association

Beginning this month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is sending "Employer Correction Request" letters, also known as "no-match letters," to every employer that has at least one Social Security "no-match”. 

The letters are likely meant to intimidate employers, but explicitly state that they do not have anything to do with any employee’s work authorization or immigration status. Follow this link to read the complete article.

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